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J Immunol. 1988 Feb 1;140(3):885-92.

Polymorphism of the HLA-D region in American blacks. A DR3 haplotype generated by recombination.

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Department of Microbiology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007.


The polymorphism of HLA class II molecules in man is particularly evident when comparisons between population groups are made. This study describes a DR3 haplotype commonly present in the American black population. Unlike the Northern European population in which almost all DR3 individuals are DQw2, approximately 50% of DR3-positive American blacks express a serologically undefined DQ allelic product. DNA restriction fragment analysis with the use of several unrelated individuals and an informative family has allowed us to identify unique DQ alpha- and beta-fragments associated with the DR3, DQw- haplotype. Based on fragment size, the DQ alpha genes of the DR3, DQw- and DRw8, DQw- haplotypes are similar as are the DQ beta genes of DR3, DQw-; DRw8, DQw-; and DR4, DQw- haplotypes. In addition, a DX beta gene polymorphism has been identified which is associated with some DR3 haplotypes including the American black DR3, DQw- haplotype. cDNA sequence analysis has revealed a DQw2-like alpha gene and a DQ beta gene which is similar to that previously described for a DR4, DQw- haplotype. It is postulated that recombination between DQ alpha and DQ beta genes and between the DQ and DX subregions has generated the various DR3 haplotypes and has played an important role in creating diversity in the HLA-D region.

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